September 26, 2023

Within the software program improvement life cycle, high quality assurance (QA) is usually the final step earlier than code is launched—it’s virtually an afterthought. Due to this, additionally it is often under-resourced, with insufficient folks, processes, instruments, and time devoted to it. That is evidenced by a 2022 report from Katalon, which surveyed greater than 3,000 software program professionals and located that solely round half of respondents had been happy with their staff’s QA efforts. It’s no shock, then, that 67% of respondents stated their main software program high quality purpose was to enhance QA processes and practices.

High quality assurance isn’t sometimes the remit of product managers, however I argue that it ought to be. There is no such thing as a one on a product staff higher geared up to make sure that the product imaginative and prescient is delivered with out points that would price you prospects—or worse, trigger your organization to lose market value.

Fifty-three percent of software professionals surveyed said they were satisfied with their team’s QA practices; 67% said their primary software quality goal was to improve QA processes and practices.
The outcomes of a current survey of software program professionals point out the clear need for enchancment round QA.

Ideally, QA ought to be ongoing all through your complete product life cycle, and product managers ought to lead the cost. Throughout my 25 years within the subject, I’ve discovered that the next QA greatest practices and ideas—which may be applied whatever the course of getting used—yield higher-quality code and happier prospects.

What Defines High quality Software program?

There are 4 essential areas that outline high quality software program:




The software program does what it was meant to do. For instance, if you happen to’re designing expense administration software program, it ought to correctly calculate issues like taxes and totals. QA check plans ought to cowl all purposeful exams, ideally in an automatic vogue, in order that any newly launched code doesn’t trigger current capabilities to interrupt.


The consumer expertise ought to be straightforward, intuitive, and environment friendly. The software program also needs to carry out nicely persistently. Expense administration methods, that are sometimes used on Fridays or Mondays when persons are submitting expense studies, ought to carry out nicely even throughout these high-use intervals. Efficiency testing ought to be included as a part of a whole QA plan.


The software program ought to be operational as meant and error-free. An necessary side of QA testing is overlaying as many potential error and edge circumstances as attainable, in order that the software program can cope in any circumstances. For example, it ought to know the right way to deal with an expense that’s entered as a adverse versus a optimistic quantity.


The software program have to be safe and shield consumer knowledge. That is key for each consumer-based and enterprise enterprise software program. Investing in good penetration testing and different safety testing is significant.

QA Finest Practices for Product Managers

Product managers ought to facilitate a mindset and angle shift throughout the staff as a way to construct and preserve a tradition that permits the creation of high-quality software program. The next QA greatest practices embrace each overarching rules and extra particular concepts that provide fast wins to achieve buy-in and momentum in your journey to strong QA.

Make QA a High-down Effort

Promote high-quality software program and make the investments in sources to make sure good QA. After I was head of product at a startup, I used to be given the price range to rent a small QA staff and acquire the mandatory check automation software program. I made it some extent to develop a great relationship with the engineering staff in order that we had been capable of modify the design, improvement, and launch processes to include QA gates. With this funding in QA, we had been capable of produce software program quicker and with fewer points.

Instill a QA Mindset Throughout the Group

QA isn’t one thing that solely the QA staff ought to take into consideration—it begins with a product supervisor defining the product via an in depth set of necessities and complete acceptance standards. I discovered early on in my product administration profession to decelerate and take into account all of the potential methods a consumer might make a mistake or misread a operate. It’s straightforward to write down a product necessities doc (PRD) that focuses on the perfect path or default state of affairs, however a great PRD ought to embrace error and edge circumstances too, so to construct probably the most intuitive expertise attainable. Instilling this type of QA mindset in your staff ranging from the early phases of improvement results in higher-quality software program.

Moreover, implementing test-driven improvement (TDD) methodologies may be very efficient in selling a QA mindset. Whereas a non-TDD staff would write the code first after which the check circumstances afterwards, which frequently ends in transforming code, TDD means check circumstances are written upfront as a part of the necessities and used constantly all through the event course of to make sure that the code passes all exams earlier than being launched.

Doc Take a look at Outcomes Clearly

Take a look at outcomes ought to be nicely documented, notably when a check fails. A transparent course of—together with instruments that allow fast and seamless recording of check outcomes, that are robotically routed to the developer—will assist the product staff be extra environment friendly.

Set Up Common Milestones

At every stage of improvement, put QA milestones in place. The sooner a problem is caught, the much less disruption and energy it takes to deal with it. Organising mid-development QA integration exams, for instance, means code may be introduced collectively and examined as a way to uncover points or failures earlier than the ultimate launch candidate is constructed.

Leverage Automation and AI Instruments

Automated testing and bug reporting instruments are important in producing high-quality software program shortly, notably in steady integration and steady supply environments—they usually save quite a lot of time. I’ve usually utilized Jira plugins, equivalent to Xray or Zephyr Scale, to assist handle QA check circumstances.

There are additionally AI instruments, which have not too long ago turn out to be out there, that may assist with some areas of QA, equivalent to making the upkeep of automated exams simpler. Many automated exams depend on a single methodology of figuring out a display screen component, equivalent to its identify or location. Presently, if a developer strikes or renames a display screen component, the automated check will fail, regardless of the performance staying the identical. With AI, the display screen component may be recognized utilizing many extra attributes, enabling adjustments with out the check failing. Then, over time, the AI learns which attributes to depend on as a way to precisely establish the display screen component.

One other space by which AI can help QA efforts is autonomous testing. You possibly can prepare AI by exhibiting it how customers navigate your software in manufacturing. The AI then creates automated check scripts that mimic widespread consumer flows. This, mixed with the upkeep of automated exams, means you possibly can obtain larger protection with extra strong exams that require much less upkeep. Try AI-based testing instruments like Appvance, SauceLabs, and Testim.

Implement a Peer Evaluation Course of

Pair programming—a standard follow in coding whereby one developer writes code and the opposite opinions it—will help catch bugs earlier than they’re ever launched. At the same time as a product supervisor, I’ve usually discovered it useful to have a colleague look over my necessities doc, for instance. Implementing peer opinions at each stage, even through the discovery and design phases, will help create a stronger product. It might be a good suggestion to have somebody from the QA staff evaluate the acceptance standards of your consumer tales to make sure they’re clear and full.

Take a look at Throughout A number of Units and at Peak Hundreds

For software program that runs on a number of platforms, equivalent to net, iOS, and Android, testing ought to be carried out on all of the platforms and even on completely different variations of working methods and browsers. Particular load testing is necessary in figuring out if there may be vital efficiency degradation at peak hundreds. With new browser, iOS, and Android releases popping out at completely different instances, it’s necessary to run exams frequently and never simply throughout your individual software launch cycle. I not too long ago discovered this lesson the laborious means when a brand new model of Android got here out and brought on our Android software to be unavailable for obtain as a result of we hadn’t upgraded it.

Constantly Enhance Your QA Course of

After placing a QA course of in place, make sure you consider it repeatedly, noting what elements are working or not working, and the way they are often improved. After a dash, a improvement staff will sometimes maintain a retrospective, reflecting on what occurred within the iteration and figuring out actions for enchancment going ahead. Maintain the same assembly on your general QA processes and procedures, or incorporate QA evaluation into your current retrospective.

Strong QA Means Higher Effectivity, High quality, and Innovation

It’s vital to put money into QA as a way to produce high-quality software program. As a product supervisor, you possibly can put some instant steps in place to information this effort:

  • Take the lead on implementing QA strategies and advocating for adequate QA sources and instruments on your staff.
  • Convey a QA perspective to necessities gathering and work with the event staff to shift to a test-driven strategy.
  • Leverage automation instruments to make your staff’s QA processes simpler and extra environment friendly.

By making QA a precedence and constructing these strategies into your product processes early on, your merchandise will undoubtedly be larger high quality. Finally, this is not going to solely allow your staff to work on new improvements, fairly than fixing bugs, it’s going to additionally allow you because the product supervisor to appreciate your product imaginative and prescient quicker.